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Devils lock up Andy Greene for four years

Jul 1, 2011, 12:53 PM EDT

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Defenseman Andy Greene briefly hit the unrestricted free agent market briefly Friday, but the New Jersey Devils didn’t let him last very long. They signed him to a four-year deal today. We’ll update this post with the financial details once they’re released.

Greene has been a bit of an under-the-radar asset on New Jersey’s drastically weaker blueline during the last two seasons in particular. He’s come a long way from being an undrafted free agent, scoring a career-high 37 points in 2009-10 and 23 in 10-11. He’s received big minutes the last two seasons as well, averaging more than 23 in 09-10 and more than 22 in 10-11. Only Ilya Kovalchuk (a rare forward who lead his team in ice time) and Henrik Tallinder earned slightly higher time on ice averages than Greene last season.

The only downside to Greene’s last two seasons is that he went from +9 in 09-10 to -23 in 10-11. That signifies that he’s probably the product of his environment at times – he’s not the type to be “the only plus player on a bad team” – but he’s still been a solid offensive defenseman for the Devils. It seems like a good idea for New Jersey, as long as his price was reasonable.

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